By India Today Sports Desk: Legendary India spinner Harbhajan Singh has said that he doesn’t understand the chatter around England all-rounder Moeen Ali using a spray to numb the pain on his finger. Moeen was fined 25 per cent of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct after using a spray on his finger.
Coming to Moeen’s defense, Harbhajan took to Twitter to say that he doesn’t understand the chatter around Moen using the spray, adding that he should have informed the umpires about it. Moeen was charged by the ICC after being found guilty of breaching Article 2.20 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to displaying conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.
“Don’t understand so much chatter around Moeen Ali using spray on spinning fingers to numb the pain. Only issue is he should have informed the umpires, but if batsman gets a blister under the gloves, and he gets a spray. Will anyone even notice. Same logic, think about it ? #Ashes2023,” Harbhajan posted on Twitter.
The incident occurred during the 89th over of Australia's first innings at Edgbaston when Moeen was observed applying a drying agent to his bowling hand while fielding near the boundary line. One demerit point was added to the all-rounder's disciplinary record for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct. This was Moeen's first offence in the past 24 months.
Moeen Ali admitted to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction put forth by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, thereby eliminating the need for a formal hearing.
Upon reviewing the circumstances, the Match Referee determined that the cream was applied to Moeen's finger to dry Ali's hands and not as an artificial substance to alter the condition of the ball, as outlined in clause 41.3 of the ICC playing conditions regarding unfair play. The Match Referee imposed a Level 1 sanction, taking into account that the ball's condition had not been changed.
On the final day, Australia needs to chase down a 281-run target to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Ashes 2023 Test series.